Podiatry ‘Isn’t Just a Job’ for Longtime Adena Health Doc
For five years, Circleville resident Tiffany Blum dealt with pain from bone spurs growing atop the big toe of each of her feet.
By the middle of 2022, she was frustrated and tired of dealing with pain that was increasingly affecting her range of motion and keeping her from wearing heels. So, Tiffany asked family members who had suffered a similar affliction for the name of a physician who would bring total focus to addressing her issue. John Boyle, DPM, at Adena Orthopedic and Spine Institute, was their unanimous choice.
“Dr. Boyle is a fantastic doctor,” Tiffany said. “He takes his time and gives you 100% of his attention and focus. He goes above and beyond to make himself available because he truly cares about his patients. He makes you feel like family.”
Dr. Boyle performed a procedure to first bring relief to Tiffany’s left foot, and it went so well that just days into her recovery, she scheduled the procedure for her right foot six weeks later. Tiffany said that Dr. Boyle was not only skilled in performing the procedure, but he also answered all of her questions, was good at communicating what she could expect, and was able to get her in for the procedure more quickly than Tiffany expected.
That patient-centered focus is reflected in Dr. Boyle’s approach to his work.
“This isn’t just a job to me,” he said, explaining that he owes his patient his full attention. “I don’t wear a watch; I don’t have any clocks on the wall. I can’t worry about the next patient or the one after that. I have to worry about the one right in front of me.”
Having practiced for nearly 40 years, 38 of those spent treating patients under the umbrella of what is now Adena Health, Dr. Boyle’s dedication to the safety and well-being of those in his care earned him an appointment to the State Medical Board of Ohio earlier this year. The board ensures that those who practice medicine in Ohio meet established standards of education, training, competence, and ethics. He said he is proud to be part of a board that puts patient safety first while also sending a clear message to those working in the field.
“We want to make sure doctors across Ohio understand that practicing is a privilege, and we have to treat it that way,” Dr. Boyle said.
A Chillicothe High School graduate, Dr. Boyle may be recognizable to those who follow the local music scene because of his performances on drums with the Goosetown Astonishers from 1986 until around 2012. His decision to apply to medical school was the result of a promise made to a man he cared for while doing some volunteer work in an apartment building housing quadriplegics and paraplegics. Once accepted, his choice to pursue podiatry was due, in part, to exposure to the field growing up. His father, a prisoner of war during World War II whose legs were saved by a podiatrist, was inspired by that experience to become a podiatrist in the Veterans Affairs medical center system.
At its most basic level, podiatry is seen as all medical and surgical care of the foot and ankle. Dr. Boyle notes, however, that in practice it goes beyond that and can involve other specialty areas.
“When a patient presents with a wound or ulcer in the foot, that’s referred to as a sentinel symptom of something broader going on,” he said. “The patient may not know that they may have diabetes or why they have lost sensation in their foot. It is incumbent upon me to recognize that and collaborate with their primary care physician, with vascular surgical services or others, to discover the origin of what happened. There can be such undiagnosed disease, and my philosophy is that it is easier and cheaper to keep them out of trouble. If we recognize it early, we can save the patient a limb.”
That level of collaboration, he added, was enhanced with the 2021 opening of Adena Orthopedic and Spine Institute, pulling a wide variety of orthopedic-related specialties together under one roof.
“It’s had a tremendous impact because it’s almost a concierge-level of service,” Dr. Boyle said, mentioning times he’s been treating a patient and been able to just walk down the hallway to get a quick consult with a colleague or get an appointment for his patient to meet with another specialist.
Dr. Boyle is looking forward to the planned addition of two clinicians in podiatry later this year and welcomes calls from his colleagues across the health system seeking assistance with their patients. Regardless of how patients come to him, he simply wants to provide them with the best care possible and be sure they know that he truly cares about them.
“You know what my payoff is?” Dr. Boyle said. “When my patients see me in a grocery store or someplace else six years later and they shake their leg or foot at me and say “thanks.” That’s the difference between a job and a vocation.”
Adena podiatry sees patients in Chillicothe, Circleville, Greenfield, Washington Court House, and Waverly. If you are experiencing leg or foot pain that is keeping you from the activities you love, let Adena Orthopedic and Spine Institute help. Schedule an appointment by calling 740-779-4598 or visit Adena.org/AOSI.